From the President, re: Returning to On-Ground Operations

January 5, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

Following a meeting earlier today with the CSCU System Office, it has been determined that all four state universities, including Southern, will resume on-ground operations next week.

Effective Monday (Jan. 10) all staff are expected to report to campus, apart from those with pre-arranged telework exemptions. If you are not one of those individuals and feel that you have a compelling reason not to return to campus next week, please discuss the matter initially with your supervisor.

As you know, while the rapid spread of the Omicron variant is driving record positivity rates across the state, it is causing less severe illness in most cases, with the vast majority of those infected experiencing mild, cold-like symptoms. As a result, efforts against COVID are now shifting from containment to mitigation strategies at both state and national levels.

With this in mind, it is vitally important that we maintain the high levels of vaccination and the observance of health protocols that have helped maintain the safety of our campus community throughout the pandemic.

I again emphasize the need for masking and social distancing on campus. And, I strongly encourage those of you who have not started or completed a vaccine regimen (including a booster shot) to do so as soon as possible.

Weekly testing of unvaccinated employees, which persisted during the winter break, will continue to be conducted in the Schwartz Hall programming space next Tuesday from 9 a.m. to noon and every Tuesday thereafter. 

Anyone who tests positive off campus or comes into close contact with someone who has become infected, should stay home and self-report. Please take the opportunity to refresh your knowledge of our campus COVID Protocols and Mitigation Strategies, which include a self-monitoring checklist if you are feeling ill.

You should also know that we are continuing to work with the state Department of Public Health to review and update our protocols in light of new recommendations issued by the CDC.  We will update the website as decisions are made.

Tomorrow, I will provide you with further information, including the status of the spring semester opening. If you have questions about returning to work on campus, please submit them here and they will be responded to promptly.

For now, I thank you in advance for continuing to exhibit the selfless teamwork and compassion for others that have served us so well. In doing so, we will help ensure that our campus remains a safe place for all to work, teach and learn during the coming weeks and months.

Sincerely,

Joe Bertolino
President